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It’s not all bad

Yesterday I had a creative brainstorm at work, it was for a client who is open to doing something quite exciting. I was in a room with some great people who were full of ideas and passionate about delivering something truly different and innovative.

A few days before I’d got equally excited about cooking the perfect poached egg.

I’ve been living this duality since last June. As we’ve moved through house hunting to mortgage nightmare, through exchange and to completion, I’ve also been at work Monday – Friday, 9 (ish) to 6 (ish),  completing proposals, writing presentations, knocking out emails and brainstorming. Picking up a pay check while feeling the excitement of starting up our own business. It’s been a stressful but perfect combination and it’s all coming to an end.

From 28th February I will no longer be receiving a salary. Danny and I will be responsible for our own income and the bread and butter of my stimulation will have to be replaced by the challenge of running the guest house. I have so many questions. Will I like it? Will I be bored? Will we argue? Will we make friends? Will we make the mortgage? And what about my career?

My career has defined me for a long time: Since the days when I decided to turn my back on a life on the stage (believe me, for a long time that’s all I could see) and commit to media. I completed an MBA, I swallowed my pride and ego while I learnt about digital marketing from the ground up and after 2 ½ years I finally feel like I have earned my place in an international company full of brilliant people.

Now I’m off to run a guest house. How did that happen? Seriously?

As is always the way, when you begin the process of leaving a job everything starts to seem brilliant. The guys you work with become people you can’t live without, and your boss becomes the best boss you ever had. The office suddenly seems to be located in a more vibrant area than ever before, the commute doesn’t seem that bad, and the Central Line never breaks down. Cue the nostalgia and the doubts, bang on time.

Tonight Danny and I leave for St Ives. We are down there for 2 weeks ‘holiday’ until we come back to London for my last week of work and our leaving party. Then that’s it. Piff Paff Poof, as the Great Soprendo would say, I’m gone. No more National Gallery on my doorstep (not that I’ve visited there in over a year). No more corner shops that are open 24 hours (not that I’ve needed one since I stopped drinking). No more friends on every corner (not that I’ve seen anyone properly in weeks). No more work banter, and no more cards signed by everyone in the office to celebrate irrelevant life details such as birthdays and engagements.

I think, and let me check myself here, that I’m going to miss work. I’m going to miss the security of an office, and the approval when I get something right. I’m going to miss the good-natured gossiping and the ridiculous conversations I’ve had about anything from eating the skin of a kiwi fruit, through to the inevitable dissection of car-crash documentaries such as My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

I’ve spent the last 13 years working Monday to Friday in one office or another, and each of them have had their great and ghastly moments; on the whole however, I’ve met some amazing people, learnt a lot, and enjoyed myself. A bit like school days… the further away the office gets the better it will seem.

So – this is a tribute to all those that have shared an office with me over the years. I shall miss you all, with your quirks and your habits; your strengths and your weaknesses. Most of all I shall miss your banter; and while a part of me hopes the office will be that little bit quieter, that little bit less interesting without me, I have a feeling that things will carry on just as they are.

Ann Patey says:

Very nice and well worded post. Love the ending too. Good luck!